A Swindon teenager has been convicted of a number of right-wing terrorism offences.
Malakai Wheeler, 18, was found guilty of six offences relating to the possession and sharing of terrorist material by a jury at Winchester Crown Court yesterday (13 September).
The defendant’s home in Stamford Close, Toothill, was raided by police in May 2021 and digital devices were seized. He was found to have a copy Terrorist Handbook.
An investigation, led by Counter Terrorism Policing North East, centred around an Telegram group in which like-minded individuals were suspected of posting extreme right-wing content.
Extensive enquiries revealed Wheeler to be a prolific contributor, regularly posting racist and antisemitic material and propaganda, in addition to distributing information about how to create weapons and explosives.
He will be sentenced on 3 November, with Judge Jane Miller KC telling the defendant to expect a prison sentence for this offending.
Detective Chief Superintendent James Dunkerley, Head of Counter Terrorism Policing North East, said: “Although only 16 at the time of his arrest, Wheeler was deeply entrenched in a Telegram chat group committed to extreme right-wing ideology.
“He was not simply curious, or a passive observer within the group. He clearly shared the same mindset as other members and was very active when it came to promoting racist and antisemitic views and propaganda.
“It is important young people recognise the potential impact of their online activity, before they cross a line into criminality, or engage in harmful or dangerous behaviours.
“If someone you know is expressing extreme views or hatred, we’d urge you to ACT Early and get help before the situation escalates into something more serious.
“Please visit www.actearly.uk for further information or call the ACT Early support line in confidence on 0800 011 3764 to share your concerns.”
Wiltshire Police Assistant Chief Constable Deb Smith said: “I’m sure this case will cause some concern within our communities in Swindon but I hope it illustrates the commitment across the national police service to work together to apprehend those who share deeply dangerous views.
“I would like to thank our colleagues at the National Counter Terrorism Policing Network for their robust action and for ensuring this individual doesn’t pose any threat to our local communities.
“This is a timely reminder that everyone has a part to play in stopping these types of criminal activities. If you have any concerns or something does not seem right, please report these to the police.
“You can find out more information and ways of reporting information anonymously by visiting www.act.campaign.gov.uk.”
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